Ottawa

Where's My Snowplow app set to be launched by City of Ottawa next month

You might want to sit down. After more than a year of development, the City of Ottawa is getting ready to unveil an app to provide you with the precise location of your neighbourhood snowplow.

You bothered councillors and clogged up the city's info line, so here it is: magic of GPS used to track plows

Late for work because the car can't navigate your snow-laden street? That's $100 or so in lost productivity. Logging in to Where's My Plow to find out precisely when to take in a satisfying sight like this one? Priceless. (The Canadian Press)

It's the question on 99 out of 100 minds any February morning following a fresh snowfall in the nation's capital, and after more than a year of work an app to tell you the precise location of your city snowplow is nearly ready.

Yes. Take a breath. Feel the muscles in your shoulders begin to relax. It's almost here.

"Where's My Plow" is set to be launched in November by the public works department. It's the end result of years of queries from residents to councillors and the city's 311 hotline, demanding to know where the plows are.

It's one of the most common questions the city gets, said Coun. Scott Moffatt, who represents the large rural ward of Rideau-Goulbourn.

"It's something that people want to know and the reality is, in the rural areas, the plow beats take a little bit longer," Moffatt said.

"And if we can give information to residents that helps them know where it's going to be or when it's going to be there, I can tell you it makes shovelling your laneway a bit nicer because you know that once you're done shovelling your laneway the plow's not going to come by and dump a big pile of snow in your freshly shoveled laneway."

Too right, councillor. That's a bummer every time.

Montreal unveiled a similar app last year, with a kink or two to iron out, and other Canadian and U.S. towns and cities have adopted the technology as well.

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